Why I’ll not exchange fruits for a bank job - Daily Nation

Why I’ll not exchange fruits for a bank job

Friday May 22 2015

George Kuria in his passion fruit farm in

George Kuria in his passion fruit farm in Kirinyaga. WILLIAM OERI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By KIHIU IRIMU
More by this Author

From afar, it looks like a big flower garden neatly divided into sections with each plant in its proper place.

Few motorists on the busy Baricho–Kerugoya Road fail to crane their necks to have a glimpse of this farm as they drive on. The farm is the handiwork of George Kuria, 27, an International Business Administration graduate from the United States International University.

Kuria quit a high-income job at Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) in 2013 after working for less than a year to venture into agribusiness. Nothing has come easy though or as he expected, but as Kuria recounts his story on his farm at Mombasa Ndogo in Mukinduri, Kirinyaga County, you will see the point in his optimism that “money is in the soil”.

At the moment, his income ranges between Sh2,000 and Sh3,000 per day surging to Sh4,000 on good days.

His two-acre farm curved out of his family’s 12 acres has three main fruits – pawpaws, tree tomatoes and passion fruits. Passion fruit occupies the biggest portion, earning him the highest income and is harvested regularly besides having the longest profitable life.

“Today I sit in the farm and get calls from buyers,” he says, adding: “All I need to do is confirm that the fruits are available then I prepare the package for each of the buyers for collection after they have paid on mobile money.”

Kuria, who graduated in 2012, is now into his third-year of farming in the area with cool weather and well-drained red soils. He first got a clerical job in Nairobi but his zeal for self-employment saw him run an eatery, which he later found to be too demanding. As he joined KCB as a teller, he still ran the eatery at Wangige in Kabete. “But I had to close it down after only four months due to cash flow problems.”

As he closed it, he had picked one lesson – demand for rabbit meat was going up but only a few hotels could cook it nicely.
“This is the idea I brought home and I started by buying a buck and a doe of superior breed at Sh5,000.”

The animals increased to 10 but a disease hit them and they all died one by one. Kuria, who was by then broke, was on the verge of losing hope but his grandmother Hannah Chiemba, his pillar, gave him two acres and bought him three more rabbits urging him to continue with the business.

“I had by then lea